Thursday, April 27, 2006

Log/Pic 2 Da Lat & Mui ne, Vietnam

So I am at a hotel that is costing me $4.50 per night and that includes breakfast and endless internet, therefore I'm taking advantage of it. I also wanted to send a couple of pictures of us in Saigon and Mui ne, our first stop north. If they do not make it with this entry, it will be with the 3rd.

We left Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and took a four hour bus ride (5 1/2), on a big, air conditioned bus (small beat up no air con.). The driver got lost several times, but we met a really cool vetanarian from England who has traveled everywhere. She really made the time fly on this otherwise long trip to the coastal town of "Mui ne"

Upon arrival, we ditched our bags, looked at the beach just long enough to see two cows walk by, and jumped on a couple of mopeds. We actually jumped on the back of two mopeds driven by two locals who offered their services for $4 each for a tour to several locations for several hours. We could have had just the mopeds all day for $3, but did not know where to go.

Our first stop was to a fishing village where we bonded with some kids on the beach as the fisherman were returning home with the days catch. This is where some of the cool photos attached were taken.

Next we went to some canyons and took a little hike in them. Then we were carted to the red dunes where we were immediately (before the moped even came close to stopping) aproached by a couple of kids yelling "slide me, slide me." I was relieved when they pulled out what looked like plastric sleds.

Punda took the "death defying" slide the whole 15 feet down reaching speeds of up to 3 miles an hour, while I took photos "all" the way down. I had time to take one.

We drove all around the dune area and through the town and then back to the fishing village for sunset. I got some good shots of the families cleaning and sorting fish and preparing their nets for the next day. Everyone was very friendly.

The next morning we played Hackysac on the beach followed by a long swim in the South China Sea. Today we would pick up the big air-conditioned bus to a small town on the other side of the mountains-I thought. A small, non a/c van arrives to pick us up. The driver said it was a three hour drive vs. six because they cut through the mountains as apposed to going all the way around them. He was right, we saved three hours, but it was a hairy ride. We stopped to pick up every worker on the side of the road-at least every worker who thinks its alright to smoke when your crammed in a minivan with a bunch of others.

Here I am in Da lat, a great little town. Today we went to a little "minority" village called Lat village minority. The leader sang to Punda and me, played his instrument, and shared his wine which came out of an old bucket and was drank through a tube that had the lips of who and how many on it. We watched the locals weave silk and learned a little about the tradition. We went to a silk making factory that was quite amazing after we stopped at someones house who raises these silk worms. We drove through the mountains and took lots of photos of people working in fields of rice, flowers, and other veggies. We visited a waterfall, a mushroom farm and finally a monestery pogoda.

blog ya soon, love Larry

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